Monday, November 4, 2013

Avoid Epson Printers for air-gapped Macs

Like many of us, my "forensic workstations" are air-gapped. That is, they're not connected to the internet. Any software updates are first downloaded on a clean workstation, tested, then applied via SneakerNet.

I've got an Epson all-in-one that has suited my needs quite well. Then, something happened and I needed to update the driver. Fine, except that Epson now does all of its driver downloads through Apple's Software Update.


Apple's Software Update only works when you're connected to the internet.

I called Epson to see if there was a way around this (Apple's OS installers can be found on your hard drive and loaded onto a USB stick for transport). They said no. There are no work arounds and there are no links anywhere to download the updates. You must use Software Update.

The Artisan 710 that's sitting on my table is now just a copy machine. It no longer prints from the computer that sits next to it. Needless to say, it's my last Epson product.

1 comment:

Kristin Maling said...

Are you sure this download doesn't work?
http://support.apple.com/kb/dl1398

The Artisan 710 is definitely part of that update.

I'm an Apple-based Director of IT and manage many Mac workstations and I've yet to come across a software update that Apple doesn't provide via a standalone downloadable update installer (i.e. outside the Apple Software Update utility/Mac App Store, depending on your OS version).

The Software Update/Mac App Store update mechanism is there to make things "easy" for the average user, but Apple always provides these updates as standalone files (for situations just like this). None of my machines update via Apple directly. All updates are first tested on so-called "clean" workstations, then these downloaded update files are deployed to production machines.

Enterprise customers don't really have to worry about standalone updates (as they are, like me, most likely running their own OS X Server Software Update Servers), but again, Apple provides all of these software updates as standalone downloads for situations just like this.

So, have a look at the above link and let me know if it's what you're looking for (and if not, let me know and I should be able to track down what you need).